With no sign of the Formula 1 season getting underway due to the coronavirus pandemic, drivers are currently enjoying their time with family members being in self-isolation. While drivers are keeping themselves away from the coronavirus pandemic, the F1 factory shutdown could be extended due to the coronavirus pandemic to solve the financial headaches of teams. According to a report in a leading British media publication, 6-time F1 World champion Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Charles LeClerc will forgo the major chunk of their salary to support team staff members during the coronavirus pandemic crisis.
According to British media reports, Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles LeClerc will follow McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz in terms of taking a pay cut. The report mentions that the coronavirus F1 effect will see Hamilton is willing let go off a chunk of his £40 million ($49.4 million) wages, even though the discussions are at a preliminary stage. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel, who earns £35 million ($43.3 million) a year, and Charles Leclerc, who earn £8 million ($9.9 million) are also in talks about reducing their earnings.
The McLaren Group, in its official statement, announced on Wednesday that they are temporarily furloughing a number of employees as part of wider cost-cutting measures due to the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown on its business. It further said that the measures are taken as the team is focused on protecting jobs in the short-term to ensure the employees return to full-time work as the economy recovers.
The coronavirus F1 impact was seen ahead of the Australian GP when McLaren withdrew from the race because a team member tested positive for the COVID-19 illness. The coronavirus F1 factor ahead of Australian GP witnessed world champion Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team sending a letter to the FIA and F1 requesting the cancellation of the Australian GP and preparations to leave. Ultimately, it was McLaren’s withdrawal that led to the cancellation.